A rather belated welcome to the New Year on A Romantic Calamity I'm afraid...but I come bearing the most wonderful news!
Last week I received an email from the delightful team at O PR telling me about a fresh, independent music festival that's making its maiden showcase this August in the heart of the Northumberland countryside, and like all the best things to come out of Newcastle, its set to be a big one!
This August, just 12 miles out of the city centre, Newcastle is to announce itself the home of Festival On The Wall; an amazing display of the country's best musicians in a location beyond compare. With an explosive line up, 'Hot Tub Sanctuary', locally sourced food, 'Thunderdome' and a late night cinema, Festival On The Wall promises to deliver all the best of the North East in one astonishing weekend.
I will forever have a place in my soul for Northumberland and Newcastle Upon Tyne; after many beloved Easter holiday trips away with the family and my three years at university, I will never stop adoring the region for its beauty and its people. It has never failed to inspire me; the city's architecture, the untamed sea and countryside, the generosity and proud attitude of the people, and I'm not the only one to have noticed.
Festival On The Wall is the brain child of founder and director, Dale Mason, who after compiling an amazing team of local and equally passionate partners, has turned Festival On The Wall into what will be one of the most anticipated festivals of the summer. The line up looks insanely impressive already, featuring a number of homecoming acts who are set to flatten the Northumberland countryside in one weekend.
The North East has produced some of the most talented musicians of recent years, especially in the rock genre. Brian Johnson of AC/DC, Mark Knopfler of the Dire Straits and Andy Taylor of Duran Duran all descend from the North East, affording the respect that Newcastle Upon Tyne has earned as a undeniable source of inspiration to the British music industry. It is only natural therefore, that this August Festival On The Wall should exhibit some of the region's most celebrated contemporary artists on their main stage.
Headlining the opening night of Festival On The Wall will be the resilient Pet Shop Boys, who hope to awe their audience. Lead vocalist and North Sheilds-born Neil Tennant said, “We are looking forward to bringing our futuristic show to a wonderful historic area in the North East” and he's not the only local making a return as a headliner.
On the Saturday night, Hexham-bred Pete Doherty will lead the invincible Libertines to glory as Festival On The Wall proves its historic worth on the national map of iconic summer music festivals. Maximo Park will be supporting their Northern brothers throughout the weekend as well as an array of incredible acts such as Twin Atlantic, Mark Ronson and The Sherlocks. The all important Sunday headline is yet to be announced, however I've been promised its going to blow you away.
A festival of this magnitude and anticipation is obviously amazing news for Northumberland, not only will it showcase some of Newcastle's strongest musical acts, but also its finest food. Typically at festivals (at least in my experience), the usual standards of food and drink are comprised somewhat; booze is lukewarm, water is a forgotten virtue and mass fried burgers/hotdogs/chips leave you feeling even more slimy than you usually would after spending three days in a tent. However Festival On The Wall hopes to change that.
After three years of university in Newcastle I can honestly say that all of my favourite restaurants and the top contenders for the best food I've ever eaten nearly all reside in Newcastle. Festival On The Wall have wisely invited some of region's top restaurants to join them in a magnificent display of fine dining as well as a number of carefully selected global street food vendors and artisan marketers. As well as this, FOTW offers a modern way to self-catered camping with 'Click and Collect' services and ice for your beer while you're busy enjoying the music!
The location of Festival On The Wall, named so because of its occupancy of the site of Hadrian's Wall (you remember that guy who tried to keep the Scottish out? Who knows why, you Scotts are lovely!), will also provide a stunning backdrop beyond compare to any other festival in the country. The site is only 12 miles from Newcastle city centre and yet located amongst 350 acres of privately owned farm land which promises to demonstrate some of the most beautiful countryside in the UK. As well as this, FOTW has a commitment to green policies making it one of the most sustainable festivals of the summer.
As well as the obvious benefits to those involved directly with the festival, Northumberland County Council also believe it will do wonderful things for the local industries and encourage tourism in the region, long after the final song has been sung on the Sunday night. As both an ex-tourist and ex-resident of Newcastle Upon Tyne and Northumberland, I couldn't encourage anyone to visit anymore fiercely than I currently do. Northumberland will honestly stay with me until I die, not because I lived there for three years, but because of how I lived there for three years. Those days truly mean the world to me.
That's all from me today I'm afraid, but I will be posting a spotlight on the Sunday headliner when announced as well. Join me in eager anticipation of who it will be!
I hope you all have a wonderful week,
For full information on Festival On The Wall, click here.